Tag Archives: commenters

On that Jezebel–>Gawker memo

This week, the staffers at Jezebel published an open letter to their parent company, Gawker Media, taking them to task for failing to protect the employees and readers from violent, rape-themed imagery posted by a rogue commenter. By failing to take the technological steps to prevent this from continuing, or changing the commenting policy site-wide, Gawker has created a hostile work environment for Jezebel staffers. As they say in their letter, if this happened anywhere else, they’d report on it, so why would their own organization be immune?

For Role/Reboot I wrote a bit about company values and that tricky space where the rubber meets the road, i.e. when resources are required to make values-on-paper values-in-reality:



Related Post: Criticizing Jezebel’s unscientific science writing.

Related Post: A few times I’ve been on Jezebel


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Filed under Gender, Media, Republished!

That Shit’s Complicated Too

I got a great comment last year from a male reader about how I was putting too much emphasis on the male orgasm as the symbol of a successful sexual outing. I was using it to illustrate why hook ups with strangers might be more satisfying for men then women, which might be one (of many) reasons that women don’t pursue casual sex as much they could.

I get your point that, for random hookups, men are more likely to ‘get off’ than women. That doesn’t take into account the fact that, for men, orgasm isn’t the only marker of a quality sexual experience, probably because it’s so easy to achieve. And honestly, myself and other men I know have come early in unsatisfying sexual experiences just to get it over with.”

I saw that Claire Dederer at the Atlantic fell into a similar trap recently when she wrote about the complexity and “messiness” of female desire. While I definitely don’t dispute the mess, I’ve come around to disputing the claim that it’s messy only for women. Messy in different ways, perhaps, but I think we do dudes a disservice if we reduce their sexual satisfaction to the act of orgasm. More on that at Role/Reboot.


Related Post: That time I reviewed hookup app Bang with Friends

Related Post: “Women can get sex anytime they want!” and other things people say

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Filed under Gender, Media, Republished!, Sex

Thanks, Critics

This week for Role/Reboot, I’ve been thinking about why I keep writing in that community, why I’m such a “sharer” (as opposed to, say, a diary keeper). One of the things I’ve landed on is gratitude for my critics. If you read this post about blackface back in October, you’ll be familiar with this theme, but I decided to elaborate with a thank you note to my harshest critics:


Related Post: When commenters help parse my thoughts about Beyonce

Related Post: How I feel when I write outside my wheelhouse


Filed under Media, Republished!

Watch This: Lindy West Explains Away the Trolls

It will get sad before it gets better, but man it’s so good.

Lindy West is one of my faves on Jezebel these days, and to her point, I had no idea what she looked like until this video. Who gives a shit, right?

Related Post: Anita Sarkeesian and a story I’ve been avoiding.

Related Post: The worst of all Facebook pages.

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Filed under Body Image, Media

Should we reject our socialization?

A few weeks ago, a commenter responded to my Role/Reboot piece on makeup with this:

“I realize that the author finishes with a message that is ultimately “do you and fuck the rest”, but the whole piece excluding the last paragraph smacks of a certain brand of feminism that asks you to completely reject your socialization. That’s really hard to do and sometimes you just have to make peace with it and recognize that it isn’t always a battle you’re going to win with yourself. Sometimes it’s a process or a journey like it was for me.”

Pretty great, right? This week, I wrote a response to that commenter, explaining why I think it’s so important for some women to sometimes push back against our socialization:

Related Post: More on privilege and my post-Jezebel experience.

Related Post: My Role/Reboot essay on why I don’t mind the “Binders” comment.

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Filed under Gender, Republished!

You Guessed It, I’m a Privileged White Girl

In case you missed it, yesterday, Jezebel reposted my Role/Reboot piece on the “12 Year Old Sluts” Facebook page. This is my third time on the mothership roller coaster, and I learn a little more about temporary mega exposure each time. It’s a pretty cool feeling, not going to lie, to get a bunch of messages from your friends and acquaintances pretending, for a moment, that you’re internet famous. Also, blog traffic, whatttupppp.

And then you start reading the comments, and the helium drains just a little from the pride balloon. 

I’m not new to internet commenters. It’s a different thing, however, to get spammy, illiterate hate mail from Men’s Rights Activists who think you’re a cunt just for daring to address issues of gender and sex in public than to see your article picked apart by the very audience with whom you’re most excited to share it.

For the record, there are many positive comments and they all made me feel warm and fuzzy. The ones that stick, though, are the accusations of elitism. This is my favorite:

All classics – keep ’em coming Jezzie:

“Ten years ago, when I was 14, I went to Sweden with my soccer team.”

“Many women-especially those of us with a top-notch education, strong role models, and a stellar support group”

“Though “sexual capital” isn’t a phrase she will run across until her gender studies classes 10 years later,”

Oops, you caught me, I’m a privileged white girl. I mean, duh, I have time to blog on the regular and refresh Jezebel every ten seconds to check the new readership, of course I’m  privileged. Women with three jobs don’t have time for this shit. Single moms don’t have time for this shit.

I guess I’m not clear on what my privilege has to do with this particular article. If I’d left out the location of my soccer trip, or even the fact that I played at all, if I’d left out references to my education, would the message be different? Would the content be more palatable?

I called out my education because I credit it (and the people I met during it) with giving me the tools and theories that form the core of my feminism and my points of view on media, gender, and sexuality. Just because I worked hard while I was there doesn’t mean that I wasn’t extremely lucky to be able to go. I’d be an idiot to think otherwise. The fact that I was born to parents with advanced degrees, in a town with great public schools, with access to club soccer doesn’t invalidate the content of my argument.

Some people are born with a very lucky hand of cards, and while I’m not religious, I try to be grateful every day for the opportunities the location and circumstances of my birth have allowed. Are people with privilege not allowed to comment on the world? Should we stick to being grateful and guilty? Not sure what I’m supposed to do here, guys, so help me out.

Thinking about the context of what we read, the how/when/by whom it was written, is the basics of critical thinking (one of those fun things I learned in college), so I’m glad that folks are applying that to my writing, I guess. Kinda stings nonetheless.

Related Post: Maslow and Feminist Privilege

Related Post: Caitlin Moran is my hero


Filed under Family

Sunday Scraps 53

1. BEAUTY: One mom, Eleni Gage, writes about how she pierced her infant’s ears and wound up on the receiving end of a whole slew of comments ranging from “female genital mutilation!” to accusations of class warfare.

2. REDDIT: Pretty fascinating account from Wired of how a rampant Reddit thread about a hypothetical Romans vs. United States military battle became a sensation, a screenplay, and a soon-to-be-released blockbuster.

3. GROCERY: Ever been to the Bi-Rite in the Mission in San Francisco? How did the store on the corner become the little grocery nobody can shut up about?

4. ORIENTATION: From Salon, one story about how San Francisco’s sexual fluidity pushed Anna Pulley away from her lesbian history towards conventional hetero sex.

5. BLOOD: Incredible, moving, beautifully-written piece in The Atlantic by John Fram on the course of his relationship after his boyfriend’s HIV status is revealed.

6. ART: Artist Andrew Myers creates 3D portraits out of screws, a drill, and paint.

Related Post: Sunday 52 = Advice for black children, Southerners deserve more, SATs at 35

Related Post: Sunday 51 = Rooming with Gloria, Bruni on double standards, A League of Their Own


Filed under Art, Body Image, Food, Gender, Hollywood, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sex